Last Friday I conducted a loop demo with Steve Schlaff of Norcon Communications, Inc. at Temple Israel located in Lawrence, New York.
We used a 100 foot radius loop to cover five rows of seating. What was interesting was that there were heat “caps” if you will all throughout the floor beneath the seating. When I saw that and based on what I have learned about steel hindering the performance of a loop system I figured the system would never work.
For just such a reason like that, we also brought the FM and Infrared demo kits to show the client all three technologies and used a headphone amp to distribute the same signal of spoken word to all the systems.
Surprisingly, even with the heat caps every two feet or so under the seating, the loop system worked quite nicely.
So we waited for the client who was driving the project, a woman who has been very active with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and from our meeting was headed up to a weekend at the Hearing Loss Association of America seminar in New England.
She had all the Ampetronic hearing loop materials we gave the folks at the temple prior to us getting there. She really did her homework.
So we have spoken word going through all three systems, none of us have any devices on, and the woman walks into the looped area. Her eyes pop open and she says, “oh my God, oh my God, this is great!” It took us all a bit by surprise because we were just talking with each other while she walked into the space, and the room was basically dead quiet since we had no devices on ourselves.
It was a dramatic response from her, and really something emotional to see. Since being at Listen’s Springfest and hearing the sound bite illustrating what a hard of hearing person actually does hear, and also having my mother in law in that position, it was so gratifying to see the woman’s reaction.
She and a few others had been Batmitzvah’ed recently in that Temple, and everyone who went through the ceremony gave short speeches. While everyone said that the speeches were wonderful, this woman unfortunately couldn’t hear any of them because she couldn’t see them directly.
So with any luck, we will have a system sold with an FM system for overflow areas, and allow this woman and others in the congregation a chance to finally hear things they should.